In these pages, taken from the ICDigest 2005, there is a brief history of the European Section, starting with its origins at a meeting in Amsterdam in June 1955, when Dr Philip Dear was unanimously elected as the first President of the Section. Though it is customary to say ‘Dr. Dear of France’, he was actually Australian, of Irish and Scottish descent, and you can read more about him further on in these pages.

This history has been compiled from several sources including: the paper of Dr David Glynn, ICD World President 1999 and President of the European Section 1995, delivered at the Monaco Meeting, June 2004; the History Section of; Newsletters of the Europen Section edited by the late Dr Herbert Norton (European Editor 1976 – 1992); ICDigests edited by Dr. Margaret Seward (European Editor 1992 – 2001); and a personal communication with Dr Dik van der Harst, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, ICD World President 1997 and President of the European Section 1986/87.

The Launch of the Philip Dear Fund

At the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the European Section in Stockholm in June 2005,

the Board of Regents announced the launch of a fund to honour Dr. Dear, considered by most to be one of the key the founding fathers of the European Section.

The fund shall receive its income from a donation of €5000 annually from the Treasurer of the European Section, Fellows’ contributions from the General Funds as a percentage of the annual dues, and donations and bequests. 

The purpose of the Fund is to support the expansion, development and cohesion of the European Section  of the ICD.   



The Fellows of the European Section have much to be proud of now that it has celebrated its 50th Anniversary. And while looking back with pride, it is essential to remember those who started it all. And when the foundation of the European Section is remembered, there are three names in particular which stand out: Dr Philip Dear, Dr Harold Westerdahl, and Dr Louis Ottofy.

The Beginnings of the International College of Dentists

Dr Louis Ottofy, Co-Founder with Dr. Tsururkich Okumura of the ICD, was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1860, the son of a talented physician s move to the US in 1874, Louis began a truly outstanding career as an educator, holding degrees in Dentistry, Medicine and Law. He became Dean of the American College of Dental Surgery (Northwestern University Dental School), and was published widely (1). He worked for twenty-three years in the Philippines and Japan. It was when Dr Ottofy was finally leaving Japan in 1920 to return to the US that the idea for the International College of Dentists was born. At
a dinner party in Tokyo, a group of dentists gathered to bid him farewell, and as he left his friends, Dr Ottofy deplored the lack of opportunities to establish professional and personal communications with dentists in other countries. At the urging of the group, especially Dr. Tsurukich Okumura of Japan, Dr. Ottofy promised to do something about the situation. Meeting his Japanese friends again in 1926 at the Sixth International Dental Congress in Philadelphia, Dr Ottofy revealed plans for an organisation which would offer Fellowship to individual dentists from all over the world, due to their eminence in their particular fields. While disseminating the most up-to-date scientific information in dentistry, the new fellows would also be asked to promote cordial relations within the profession worldwide,
especially by attending an annual meeting of Fellows. Thus, on New Year’s Eve, 1927, the International College of Dentists was born. Dr. Tsururkich Okumura and Dr Loiuis Ottofy are its Co-Founders.

Early European Input into the development of the ICD

Fellows from Europe played a very significant part in the early years of the establishment of the International College of Dentists on the world stage. George Villain of France was World President in 1931, and by the mid-1930s, four Fellows had been honoured as Masters: Jaccard (Switzerland), Nord (Holland), van Hasselt (Holland) and Dear (France). By the end of the 1930s, several European countries were represented on the Roster: France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, England, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. There were a few Fellows in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Poland, though none in the Baltic countries or Russia. Yet of the 89 Fellows listed, about one half were under temporary classification, meaning that transfer of funds for initiation fees and annual dues had proved difficult or impossible for them. The system of ongoing induction was rather haphazard, and there was little communication between the Fellows in Europe and other parts of the world. In addition, since WWII, the picture within Europe itself was bleak. Fellows from behind the iron curtain were not allowed to attend meetings, so what little contact had existed was completely disrupted after the war.

1955: Origins of the Autonomous EuropeanSection

Dr Elmer Best, Secretary-General of the College since its incorporation in 1931, and Registrar of the USA Section from 1934 to 1954, had established a lasting friendship with an Australian dentist of Irish and Scottish descent, Dr Philip Dear. Dear was born in 1884 in Melbourne, and, after graduating from Merion College, Victoria, he went to the Dental School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained a DDS in 1910, specialising in crown and bridge work. Later, in Philadelphia, he met William Fitting, an outstanding Swiss practitioner, who invited him to join his dental practice in Lausanne. Dear practiced with Fitting for over nine years, then in his own practice in Lausanne for 32 years, later taking up residence and part-time practice in Nice.

Best had often discussed the reorganisation of the ICD with Philip Dear, and both longed to see an autonomous European Section established. Best died in 1954, and later that year at the annual meeting of the College-at-Large in Miami, Dr. Harold Westerdahl, then deputy registrar, was named to succeed him as Secretary-General. Westerdahl worked closely with Dear now and together they kept alive Best’s vision of an autonomous European Section. They furthered their plans by taking advantage of a meeting of the American Dental Society of Europe (ADSE) in Amsterdam in 1955, which European Fellows normally attended. Sixteen Fellows attended a luncheon Dear had specially organised to plan the formation of the European Section, to which he had also invited Frank Lamons, President-Elect of the College at Large, and Dwight Coons, a Master of the College, both from America. The date was 13th July 1955, the date the European Section can be said to have originated.

Philip Dear – the Father on the European Section

As the organisation of the new section proceeded, and temporary officers were elected, it was the unanimous wish of the Fellows present that Philip Dear should take the Presidency. His initiative and his interest in forming an autonomous section qualify him unquestionably as being the Father of the European Section. Dr. Jacques Fouré was installed as Secretary ‘pro temp’.

1956: Inaugural Meeting, London

One year later, on July 9th 1956, Fellows from 7 of the 12 European countries listed in the Roster met in London for the Inaugural Meeting of the European Section. Harold Westerdahl, came especially from Minneapolis to guide the fledgling Section. The temporary officers elected in Amsterdam in 1955 were confirmed in office, Charles Nord from Holland was elected President-Elect, and Francois Ackerman from Geneva, Switzerland, Vice-President so…

Officers appointed for the new European Section in 1956 in London were:

Philip Dear (France) President
Charles Nord (Holland) President-Elect
F Ackerman (Switzerland) Vice-President
Jacques Fouré (France) Secretary
P Coustaing (France) Treasurer (then Frans Lankhof (Holland) ‘59-‘68)
Jean Roger (France) Editor

French Fellows had a great influence in the early years of the Section, and as English was not as commonly spoken then, the Dutch were invaluable as translators.

Early District Divisions

The European Section was originally divided into five Districts, representing countries or groups of countries where the dental population or number of Fellows was small. These were:

1. France, Italy, Spain and Portugal – (each with Regents

or Deputy Regents)

2. Great Britain and Ireland (Regents in both)

3. Switzerland, Germany, and Austria (each with its own Regent)

4. Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg (Regent in Holland)

5. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland (Regent in Sweden).

  • Hopes that Fellows from Poland would join District 4 soon fadedas it became clear they could not travel freely.
  • A District 6 forCzechoslovakia-Yugoslavia-Rumania-Bulgaria never materialised.
  • In 1982, a new District 6 was created for Israel-Cyprus-Greece-Maltawith the late Dr Gerald Wootliff as Regent.

2005: Districts and Numbers of Fellows:

There are now thirteen Districts and the numbers of Fellows are as follows:

  • Austria 29
  • Belgium-Holland-Luxembourg 49
  • England-Scotland-Wales 66
  • France 79
  • Germany 70
  • Greece-Cyprus 31
  • Ireland 48
  • Israel-Malta 14
  • Italy 63
  • Portugal 36
  • Denmark-Finland-Norway-Sweden 36
  • Spain 51
  • Switzerland 48
  • Russia/USA 3

The total number of Fellows in the European Section

is now 623. In 2001, Dr Nicole Vallotton of Switzerland became the Section’s first female President, and there have been two female Editors, Dame Margaret Seward 1992 – 2001, and the current incumbent, from 2001 to the present. In 2004-2005, two female Fellows were elected Deputy-Regents for their Districts: Dr. Lieb-Skowron for Austria & Dr. Farrell for England-Scotland-Wales (see page 10 of ICDigest 2005).

Eight European Fellows have served as WorldPresidents

G Villain, Paris, France 1931
Rene Jaccard, Geneva Switzerland 1939
Jacque Fouré, Paris, France , 1969
Cyril deVereGreen, London, England, 1979
Frans Lankhof, Amsterdam, Holland, 1988
John O Forrest, London, England, 1992 (died in office)
Gerrit van der Harst, Amsterdam, Holland, 1997
B David Glynn, London, England, 1999

First Regents, Vice Regents and Deputy Regents appointed in 1956:

District 1: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal
Regent Dr Robert Vielleville (France)
Vice Regent Dr Frederico Singer (Italy)
Deputies Dr J Schermant (Spain)
Dr Gil Alcoroforado (Portugal)
District 2: England (later to encompass Scotland, Wales and Ireland)
Regent Dr. Leslie Godden (then Cyril deVere Green)
District 3: Switzerland, Austria, Germany
Regent Dr Louis Fitting (Switzerland)
Vice Regent Dr Fritz Schön (Germany)
Deputy Dr Fritz Driak (Austria)
District 4: Holland and Belgium
Regent Dr Ch L Nord (Holland)
Deputy Dr F Watry (Belgium)
District 5: Scandinanivia
Regent Dr Knut Gard
Jacques Fouré (France)
Aré Edwards (France)
Michel Varin (France)
B David Glynn (England)
George Read-Ward (England)
Ian Poplett (England)
Frans Kroon (Netherlands) * currently in office
P Coustaing (France)
Frans Lankhof (Holland)
G.van der Harst (Holland)
Hendrik Ruskamp (Holland)
Rudy Landman (Netherlands) * currently in office
Jean Roger (France)
Federico Singer (Italy)
Charlie Przetack (Germany)
Herbert Norton (England)
Margaret Seward (England)
Cecil Linehan (Ireland)* * currently in office



Past Presidents Country Year Venues for Meetings
Philip Dear France 1955/56 Amsterdam/London
Ch.F.L.Nord Holland 1957 To be established
Louis Fitting Switzerland 1958 To be established
Jacques Foure France 1959/1960 To be established
Frans Ackermann Switzerland 1961/1962 To be established
Robert Vielleville France 1963/1964 To be established
Fritz Schön Germany 1965/1966 To be established
Louis Baume Switzerland 1967/1968 To be established
Frans Lankhof Holland 1969/1970 To be established
C. deVere Green England 1971/1972 To be established
Frederico Singer Italy 1973/1974 To be established
Charles Vallotton Switzerland 1975 To be established
Jose. M Losada Spain 1976 /1977 Athens ’76; Lausanne ‘77
Aré Edwards France 1978/1979 Madrid ’78; Paris ‘79
Walter Reif England 1980/1981 London ’80; Monte Carlo ‘81
Charles Przetak Germany 1982/1983 Düsseldorf ‘82; Vienna ‘83
Umberto Bar Italy 1984/1985 Florence ’84; Lisbon’85
G. van der Harst Holland 1986/87 Amsterdam ‘86; Dublin ‘87
William Fitting Switzerland 1988 Madeira
Michel Varin France 1989 Deauville
John O. Forrest England 1990 London
Gulf War   1991 Meeting Cancelled
Gil Alcoforado Portugal 1992 Villamoura
Andreas Tsoutsos Greece 1993 Athens
Gerald Wootliff England 1994 Jerusalem
B David Glynn England 1995 York
Carlo Pejrone Italy 1996 Baveno
Peter Kotschy Austria 1997 Vienna
T. Wahr-Hansen Norway 1998 Bergen
Jan Pameijer Holland 1999 Amsterdam
Jaime Gil Spain 2000 Bilbao
Heinz Lässig Germany 2001 Munich
Nicole Vallotton Switzerland 2002 Lausanne
Joseph Lemasney Ireland 2003 Dublin
Peter Pré France 2004 Monte Carlo
Anders Ericson Sweden 2005 Stockholm

Growth of the ICD

1931: Constitution adopted at International Dental

Congress Paris

Autonomous Sections created

1934: The USA

1939 – 1945: no new Sections during World War II; restarted 1947

1948: Canada

1955: Europe

1958: Japan

1960: Inter-American (Mexico, Latin America and Panama)

1964: India-Sri Lanka

1964: Australia, including New Zealand, the Fiji Islands & Papua New Guinea

1966: The Philippines

1967: The Middle East: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon. Saudi Arabia, Aden, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt and Kuwait added later

1977: Australian Section renamed Australasian Section

1980: Mexico became independent of the Inter-American Section. Other Latin American countries join the International Section

(see below)

1981: South America, non-English and non-Spanish speaking Caribbean Islands

1986: Korea

1994: Chinese-Taipei

International Section: This Division of the College has no special geographical boundaries and provides a Section for Fellows living outside an official autonomous Section.

There are now 10, 147 Fellows of the International College of Dentists worldwide

Aims and Objectives

of the International College of Dentists


Service and the Opportunity to Serve”

Our Motto:

The International College of Dentists is a leading honorary

dental organisation dedicated to the recognition of outstanding

professional achievement and meritorious service and the continued

progress of the profession of dentistry for the benefit of

all humankind

Core Objectives of the College

1) To advance the art and science of dentistry

for the health and welfare of the public internationally.

2) To encourage postgraduate study and research

in the field of dental science and cognate subjects.

3) To endeavour to bring together outstanding

members of the dental profession of the world for the purpose

of fostering the growth and diffusion of dental knowledge

and to encourage an exchange of good will among members of

the profession.

4) To cultivate and foster cordial relations

among those engaged in the profession of dentistry and other

health professions.

5) To co-operate with dentists and various

organisations for the prevention and control of oral disorders.

6) To preserve and elevate the dignity of

the profession by enjoining all members to maintain the highest

ethical standards and professional conduct.

7) To perpetuate the history of dentistry.

8) To recognise conspicuous service to the

profession and provide a method of granting Fellowship in

the College.

9) To encourage and support projects of a

humanitarian nature.


Ottofy viewed Polk’s Dental Registry and the Standard
Dental Dictionary as his most accomplished works. Dr Franklin
Kenward. Address to the new Fellows of the European Section.
In Newsletter of the European Section, No. 32, March 1977,
pp 4 – 6.